SUGAR FREE & LOW CARB SICILIAN CANNOLI
There are two important items you need to use. A cannoli metal tube and a waffle cone machine. They are both inexpensive and quite easy to find. However, if you have a contraption that operates in a similar way to a waffle cone maker, you might be in luck. As long as it consists of flat-ish irons that are pressed together to cook a batter, it should work.
If you’re a waffle cone maker novice, you may well need to do a test-run to get the shells right. I had to when I bought mine. These machines are all different, so you’ll need to practice with yours, to figure out how long the batter takes to cook and at what temperature. The one I use works well despite being cheap and plasticky, with no temperature controls. It cost me 8 euros! You just drop the batter in the centre, close the lid VERY SLOWLY (you want the mixture to spread to about the width of your cannoli tube – no more) and wait. I learned that the steam that escapes is a visual clue as to when the batter is cooked. But just to be on the safe side, I open the lid and check every minute.
Then you have to practice getting your shell out of the machine and onto a tea-towel without braking it. While still hot, it will be flimsy and prone to tearing. Be swift but delicate, and you’ll succeed. Rolling it around the cannoli tube is a no-brainer. But again, you need to work quickly and follow my instructions to make sure your shells stay nicely sealed once hardened.
Made a mess of things? No problem. Crumble your broken shell(s), let them air dry and store them away. They’ll be ready for future use as part of a cheesecake base, or as a topping for a spoon dessert, or anything you can think of. When something is this delicious, nothing should be wasted.
- 1 large egg (55g)
- 30g erythritol
- 20g high-oleic cold-pressed sunflower oil – or other light and neutral oil – see notes below
- 40g fine almond flour
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 40g almond milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g ricotta
- 50g mascarpone
- 60g double (heavy) cream
- 5g gelatine powder
- 40g icing ‘sugar’ or Make your Own, or try allulose
- 1 lemon (zest only)
- 1 orange (zest only)
- heat your waffle cone maker.
- you’ll need to work fast, so lay a clean towel, a metal cylinder/cannolo tube and a flexible spatula over your work space, ready to use.
- with a hand-held electric whisk, whip egg, vanilla and erythritol until smooth.
- add oil, milk, then almond flour and xanthan gum, whipping for 5 seconds or so in between each addition – you should end up with a dense but smooth paste that slides off your spoon slowly.
- scoop a heaped dinner-spoon of batter and place it in the centre of the ice cream machine, flattening it a little to form a disc shape, close the lid very gently and wait 2-3 minutes until the steam subsides (timing will vary depending on the machine you have – I suggest checking every minute, as the ‘pastry’ can burn quickly).
- when ready (golden brown), pull up the edge of the shell using the spatula, lift it with your fingers and flip it onto the towel; place the metal tube over one end and roll as tightly as you can, but carefully, as the shell will be quite soft and delicate at this stage.
- once rolled up, position it onto your towel with the outer rim at the bottom and press it lightly – this will ensure a tight seal once dried.
- move on to the next shell, then, when almost ready, go back to the first one and pull out the metal tube, place the hardened shell aside and re-use the metal tube.
- continue until you’ve used all the batter – you should be able to make 6 large cannoli tubes (approx 11.4cm/4.5” length).
- leave them uncovered, on your kitchen counter – they will remain crisp for days.
- pour cream into a small microwave-proof bowl and sprinkle gelatine over it; stir with a dessert fork and leave to bloom for a few minutes; once it turns into an almost solid mass, place it in the microwave and heat it for 1 minute or so on medium-low power (I use 600W setting); when the mixture has returned to a liquid state, give it a good stir and leave aside to cool down.
- drain any visible liquid from ricotta and mascarpone, then scoop and weigh the required quantities into a Pyrex glass or similar mixing bowl, add grated lemon and orange zest, plus icing ‘sugar’ or allulose.
- whip for 2 minutes using a hand-held electric whisk, then incorporate the gelatine/cream mixture and continue to whip until you achieve a silky, stiff whipped cream.
- place the filling into a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle (I use a 10mm one) and squeeze some into both ends of your cannoli, so they’re filled all the way in.
- dust with icing ‘sugar’ before serving.
The shells can be made in advance and left, uncovered, on the kitchen counter – they’ll stay crispy for up to 5 days, depending on humidity.
You can keep the finished cannoli, in the fridge and covered with cling film, for 3 days max. I actually prefer the softer shell induced by the filling + refrigeration. If you prefer a crispy shell, add the filling only when you’re ready to serve the cannoli.
I like to use high-oleic cold-pressed sunflower oil, as it’s light and almost tasteless, plus very low in omega-6 PUFAs. You can substitute it for an oil of your choice (e.g. hemp, flaxseed, etc.) but I wouldn’t recommend extra virgin olive oil because it’s too heavy and aromatic.
To replicate the classic Sicilian Cannoli look, I dipped each end in a PISTACHIO PRALINE CRUMB, but that’s entirely optional.
The only way to ensure accurate measurement of ingredients is with Metric Kitchen Scales.
- Yield: 6 large
- Serving: 1 cannoli
- Calories: 171
- Fat: 15g
- Net Carbs: 1.8g
- Protein: 6.5g